In my continued case to see all things Audrey Hepburn, I popped Funny Face into my DVD player today. Thankfully, Paramount Pictures has been releasing Hepburn films over the last few months under its Centennial Edition banner, and Funny Face is the latest to be re-released. Having just watched Sabrina, Roman Holiday and, of course, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, my expectations were set pretty high – little did I know that Funny Face was an annoying musical that definitely does not stand the test of time.
Funny Face is about a fashion magazine photographer (Fred Astaire) who, in order to get a perfect shot, storms into an old bookstore to perform a photo shoot – taking the poor bookkeeper (Hepburn) by surprise. Though she has a “funny face,” Mr. Astaire sees something in the young women and selects her to be his next model. Hepburn is swept away to Paris for her big premiere, though her intentions are more to philosophize with Parisians than walk down a runway. At the same time, an awkward relationship forms between the two.
Funny Face is a pretty typical romantic comedy, only with singing, dancing and very little comedy and romance. While most of Hepburn’s pictures stand the test of time amazingly well, Funny Face will only appeal to fans of the era. The musical numbers, while not terrible, are just antiquated, and come off as more annoying than anything else. In recent years I’ve grown to enjoy musicals, but this is the kind of musical I loathe.
There’s not much else to say. Funny Face was not what I was expecting, and lacks the charm and wit of many of Hepburn’s other movies. There isn’t much chemistry between Hepburn and Astaire, and that could have been its one saving grace.
The Funny Face DVD includes:
- Kay Thompson on “Think Pink”
- This is VistaVision (whatever that means)
- Fashion Photographers Exposed
- The Fashion Designer and His Muse
- Parisian Dreams
- Paramount in the ’50′s – Retrospective Featurette
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Photo Galleries